The Duty of Candour Regulations, implemented by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, came into force in November 2014 for NHS Bodies and in April 2015 for all other organisations. It applies to all health and social care organisations registered with the Quality Care Commission in England.

All healthcare professionals have what is called a “Duty of Candour”.  It sets out specific requirements that healthcare professionals must follow when something goes wrong with care and treatment.  It provides for healthcare professionals to be honest and open, providing truthful information and informing people about an incident. The duty includes providing an apology when things go wrong, an appropriate remedy to put matters right and explaining fully the short and long term effects of what has happened.  A patient should be informed about where they can get support and should be kept informed about any investigation and its outcome.

The duty means that an organisation must tell you about any incident where the care or treatment may have gone wrong and which covers any incident that appears to have caused significant harm or has the potential to cause significant harm in the future.

If you think that a healthcare body or professional is in breach of their statutory duty of candour, this can be raised with the healthcare professional directly or by making a formal complaint.

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